Social media platforms step up to amplify Covid-19 resources

Social media platforms step up to amplify Covid-19 resources
Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Apr, 2021

Microblogging and social media platform Twitter has said that it will “continue to engage openly and constructively” with the government of India in case of further requests to withhold content around Covid-19 on the platform in view of its “overarching commitment to serve the public conversation during a crisis.”

The blog post, published on Thursday, comes days after the Ministry of Electronics and Information technology (MeitY) asked the platform to take down over 50 posts that were critical of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 situation. According to submissions made by Twitter to the Lumen database, 21 posts were banned from viewing in India.

Additionally, the blog said that it has started a Covid-19 hub under the ‘explore’ tab, which collates information on public service announcements, events and other pandemic related news. The platform has also created a Covid-19 SOS page to surface requests for help and responses.  

Developers, it said, can access Twitter API to build tools for emergency response. Academics and researchers can also track Covid-19 related tweets in real time or historically through the academic research track on Twitter API.

Separately, social media company Facebook on Friday announced that it would roll out a Vaccine Finder tool on its mobile app in India across 17 languages to help users identify nearby vaccination centres.  

Available on Covid-19 Information Centre feature on the app, the feature will source data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, it said. It will also carry a link to register on the Co-WIN website for appointments.

Facebook will also provide information from UNICEF to manage mild symptoms at home and information on when to seek emergency care on its feed. It will promote the information on the guides feature in the explore tab of its group company Instagram as well.